Leaving School


In Wales 2016, a young person is allowed to leave school on the last Friday of June provided they will be 16 years by the end of that same years summer holiday. They must then stay in full time education, start an apprenticeship or traineeship or work/volunteer until aged 18.


Try and think back to when you had to make all those decisions in school - What subjects should I take? Sixth form, college, get a job? I failed my exams! I hate school! - It was a minefield right?! This transition time for young people can be very stressful for them and for those caring for them. However, try and remember that although it’s stressful, it could also lead to brand new and exciting opportunities and experiences.


Encourage your child to think about thing they would like to get from life and how they think they can do this. What do THEY need to do to make it happen? Are they willing to sacrifice things to reach their goal? If they are, brilliant! If not, then openly explore other options and encourage them to think of THEIR lives and not the lives of their friends.


What next?


As previously said, your child must go into further education, employment or training otherwise they will become Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) which means that they are either unemployed or economically inactive. If your child is NEET, it could have an effect on any benefits you may be entitled to. When a young person remains in education, they may be eligible for Education Maintencance Allowance (EMA) and this will NOT affect any benefits received in the household.


So what are the options for your teenager at age 16?


Higher education:  School, College, Sixth Form, Adult and Community Education, University


Cardiff and Vale College Bridgend College Atlantic College Cardiff University


Cardiff Metropolitan University University of South Wales Open University



Training:  Apprenticeships, Traineeships


 Jobs Growth Wales ACT Rathbone The Peoples Business



Employment:  Employed, Self-Employed, Volunteer


For further help and support on your options and financial help available, please visit:


 UK Government Careers Wales Childline or MEIC